The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation has provided generous funding over a number of years bringing music education to children living in remote, regional areas of NSW. With the support of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, Musica Viva delivered a total of 163 concerts to 139 schools and 23,453 students across the West, North West, Far West and Riverina regions in New South Wales in 2011. In addition, professional learning courses have been delivered to a total of 277 teachers.
'Without subsidy, our school and community at large would have no access to the variety of musical styles presented to them over the years by Musica Viva. We are a small town in the Far West region of NSW (approx 400) set in a fairly isolated farming region. To attend any live musical concert, the least distance we would have to travel is 160km. Following several years of drought, people in our community have been less able to afford to leave the region for new experiences, which leaves many of our students extremely culturally isolated and unaware. We have no interaction with any other cultures or races in our community and thus our students' understanding in this area is impeded. Musica Viva has provided assistance in this area by exposing our students to other cultures - their musical styles, their customs.
Our central school caters for students K - Yr 12 - numbers are constantly falling due to drought, lack of employment, etc. Some children in the area go away to attend boarding school - performances such as those by Musica Viva help to address the isolation of remaining students. Our students are always excited by upcoming Musica Viva concerts and participate enthusiastically both in preparatory activities and especially in the concert!! We always invite our preschoolers and community members often attend too. Their comments reflect their appreciation of the entertainment. This year we are going to incorporate our concert in our celebration of Education Week.
There are very few specialised music teachers in country areas. Most music classes in primary are taught by classroom or relief teachers with little experience. For this reason, Musica Viva with its day of inservice, book of activities, CD is extremely helpful to both teachers and students. We have enjoyed Musica Viva for many years and a lot of enjoyment and learning has been experienced.'
Teacher, Far West school NSW